Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cookie dough? Yes please!

Who doesn't love cookie dough? Nobody worth hanging out with that's for sure! Okay, maybe that's a bold statement. If someone doesn't like cookie dough they must have just not had a good experience, we can change that. In fact, I think this recipe will convert someone over into the "cookie dough fan club".

I got this recipe from I changed it up a little bit but the recipe is basically the same. She's got an awesome blog and if you haven't checked it out already you should.

I was dog sitting for a few friends when I had the urge to bake something but didn't want to actually turn on the oven. This is a great "lazy baking" recipe since it actually doesn't require baking at all. Plus, who doesn't want to come home to cookie dough balls after a vacation?

Here's what you'll need for the recipe:

-1/2 stick butter (original recipe uses a whole stick)
-1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp sea salt (or 3/4 tsp kosher salt)
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/3 cup fat free greek yogurt
-3/4 cup chocolate chips (original recipe uses 1 cup)
-1/4 cup caramel chips (original recipe doesn't add these)
-1/2 cup chopped pecans (original recipe uses walnuts)
-1.5 cups chocolate chips for melting and dipping

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside. Then whisk together butter, sugar, yogurt, and vanilla extract (the wet ingredients). You need to use softened butter here so if you don't have time to leave the butter out at room temp than just put it in the microwave for a little bit. I did this by hand but you can use an electric mixer if you'd like to speed up the process a bit. Once the wet ingredients are whipped together slowly add the dry to the wet. Lastly, add in the nuts, chocolate chips, and caramel bites.  It should look like this...

Next you'll want to make little balls out of this dough. I choose to make small-medium sized balls. I used a large spoon (~1 tbsp) to scoop and rolled the balls in my hands (clean hands). They should look like this.

Now here comes the hard part. You have to put them in the freezer (I put them in a deep freezer) for a few hours to harden and cool off, otherwise they won't hold. If you don't have a deep freezer plan on waiting about 4-6 hours before these little guys are good to go. In the meantime you can watch a silly movie or go for a walk with your dogs or workout or nap or cook dinner for the week ahead!

Once they were frozen I melted the 1.5 cups of chocolate chips in the microwave, you could also use a double boiler. Then I dipped the cookie dough balls in melted chocolate and put them back in the freezer so the chocolate shell could harden. I had a picture of these and accidentally deleted it, whoops! Just imagine a chocolate shell on the outside or go to and see them! 

I recommend storing these in the freezer and taking them out 20-30 minutes before you want to eat them. I couldn't wait so I ate them straight out of the freezer, weird right? You could also pop them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds but be careful they get melty. Cookie dough soup could be good though...

Adaptations you can make...
1. Try using replace 1/2 cup of the flour with oats, use 1 cup of raisins instead of chocolate chips, use walnuts instead of pecans, and 1 tsp cinnamon and you've got oatmeal raisin cookie dough balls. I wouldn't dip them in anything but you could certainly dip them in chocolate
2. Use 2 mashed bananas instead of yogurt, 1/2 cup peanut butter chips, 1/2 cup chocolate chips and you've got chocolate peanut butter banana cookie dough balls (wow that's a long title).
3. Use shredded coconut and chopped almonds for an almond joy inspired cookie dough ball. 

The possibilities are endless. Have fun in the kitchen and experiment. Turn on some music, get your hands a little doughy, and invite a friend over. Sometimes you make fail but sometimes you'll end up with a tasty treat! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Smoked Turkey Salad

Seems like I may be on a "salad" kick. I do that with food but at I'll try to bring a variety to the table, promise.

I went to my favorite wine/coffee bar a few weeks ago and had a "salad sandwich" which typically I don't order because they are mayonnaise with a side of meat which is not only unhealthy but unappealing because I absolutely hate mayo. I dislike the texture, the smell, the flavor, everything. Mayo is to me as Ketchup is to Morgan (SAT throwback, hope I used that correctly...). Anyways, back to the salad sandwich it was smoked chicken with dried fruit, SO SO good and didn't have mayo (or at least I couldn't detect it). So naturally I had to try to recreate it. So today I stepped into the kitchen and created this recipe. I hope you like it.

Smoked Turkey Salad
-1 package of smoked turkey deli meat (I used organic applegate farms)
-1/2 package uncured ham (also applegate farms)
-6 unsulpherized/unsweetened dried apricots
-3 medjool dates (pitted)
-1/4 cup chopped pecans
-1 heaping tbsp dijon mustard
-1 tbsp fat free greek yogurt (I suppose you could use mayo)
-1 tsp lemon juice
-pepper to taste

First you'll want to dice/cube the smoked turkey and ham. Then chop the nuts/dried fruits into bite sizes pieces, you don't want big chunks in this recipe. Next whisk up the wet ingredients and add them to the bowl. Mix and serve! It's really that easy.
                             before you chop them
after you chop them

Next choose how you want to eat it!
1. In a sandwich. Try whole wheat bread, a slice of smoked gouda and lettuce.
2. In a whole wheat wrap with avocado and arugula
3. In a bowl on top of local salad greens! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mango Orange Salad

Happy Mother's Day to all those Moms out there! This morning my brother and I teamed up to make a brunch for our mom. My brother worked on some home made biscuits and I created a side salad to go alongside the eggs and biscuits. This salad was so light and refreshing. I hate when brunch turns into a heavy meal leaving you sluggish all day. I understand "brunch" is breakfast and lunch in one but it doesn't mean you can eat 2-3x as much as you normally would. After this great brunch we went for a walk with Emma, no food comas here!

Salads can be a great light summer time meal or side dish for cook outs! This salad is packed with fruit and vegetables. If you want to make it into a "meal" top it with some grilled chicken, fish, or an egg (like I did) to add protein and staying power. 

Another great thing about salads is how easy they are to make. If you don't have some of these fruits on hand feel free to swap them out with pears and berries or apples and grapes. Really, anything can work.

Mango Orange Salad

-1 champagne mango (peeled and diced)
-1 naval orange peeled and segmented (you can use a blood orange too)
-4 cups of spring vegetable mix
-1/4 of an english cucumber thinly sliced
-1 hass avocado sliced

For the Vinaigrette
-1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup champagne vinegar
-2 tbsp dijon mustard
-1 tbsp lemon juice
-1 tbsp honey
-salt and pepper to taste

(shake it up and dress your salad. This recipe will make extra if you lightly dress your salad like I did).

This salad will serve 4 as a side salad or 2 for a meal salad (protein added). 

In the salad I showed above I added 1 egg sunny side up and let the runny yolk also dress my salad. It was delish!!!